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The welfare state August 13, 2004 12:36 AM

Has Australia gone too far down the welfare road? Should the dole be reduced? Is work for the dole a good idea? If you rely on the welfare system please give us an idea of how hard it is to get by.  [ send green star]
 
 September 07, 2004 7:04 PM

My husband and I had to live on the dole while I was finishing my Bachelor of Arts. I was on Youth Allowance, and my husband who had graduated with a bachelor of Science, couldn't find a job for a year, despite actively searching and applying and doing volunteer work (begging even) all over the country for a job. We had no money, no entertainment, had to continually beg parents for money and it was so bad that near the end of the year my husband and I were spiralling each other into a suicidal state. We lived on tinned tomatoes and rice. for a year. To this day I hate tomatoes. No the dole is not too much money, it's allready under the poverty line.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
dole September 07, 2004 7:35 PM

If you don't mind could you give us a few details - how much money you got each week, your rent, what you spent on food etc. The only person on the dole that I know of lives in a small country town so I guess his rent is cheap. He has a wife and a kid. He always seems to have plenty of beer, pot and cigarettes, he has a good car and he has playstations and that sort of thing.  [ send green star]
 
 September 07, 2004 9:46 PM

I realise you didn't mean to, but I was offended at that request. I don't feel the need to prove to you or anyone else the conditions that my husband and I were forced to live in by giving you an expenditure report. The stereotype that all people on the dole 'bludge' is a false one, one that I held as a naive student before I was made to live the conditions myself. There may be a few rotten apples in the barrel, but just because some of them exist gives people no right to attempt to label the whoel contents of that barrel in the same light. And I lived at the time in Wagga Wagga - country NSW. I can't imagine being in the city with the same requirements of living but with those prices to attempt to meet. I'm sorry that I have gotten emotive, but the way people and politicians label those in a worse situation than themselves make me feel sick.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 September 07, 2004 10:08 PM

no problem, I was just trying to get some facts into this debate. Like you said you yourself thought it would be easy to live on the dole till you tried it. I don't want to try it myself, but I would like to get a better understanding of what it's like. Not many people are willing to advertise the fact that they are or were poor which makes it hard for the rest of us to understand what they go through.  [ send green star]
 
"On the dole" September 11, 2004 10:21 AM

Folks; I live in Montana,USA, but it sounds to me like Australia treats it's poor the same. I have been "on the dole" for over 20 years. Not that I wouldn't like to work and pay taxes; rather, I am unable to. I suffer from PTSD and several childhood abuse-related spine conditions which limit my ability to hold down a job of any kind. I have spent most of my life climbing out of the hole my parents dug for me, and am proud to say that, in spite of their abuse (which they would continue to this day if I allowed), I have raised a beautiful, bright, compassionate daughter for the past 22 years and managed to make a decent life for her as well as for various foster kids (all grown and gone). I am extremely industrious; I create on canvas, sew, write poetry and short stories, cook gourmet, sing (I sang professionally for a few years), play piano, guitar, accordian (would be learning to play drums if I could afford them). The problem is that I can only do any of these things when I am able to stay awake, relatively pain-free (I am always in some degree of pain) or when I can manage my depression effectively. My life is truly an uphill climb, but I love life anyway and have always worked hard to overcome the past, moving on to the next great horizon. I don't drink or smoke, but I don't see that this has ever made any difference in how a materialistic and judgemental society has viewed or dealt with me. I am a family-oriented person, so much so that I will ignore my own needs until my daughter points out that martyrdom is not a virtue. My disabilities are well documented, and so you would think that the social-services system as well as the general public would treat me with a greater modicum of respect than perhaps the way they treat the "smokers, drinkers and partiers". Not a chance. I am as stygmatized as anyone, and for 20 years have had to learn to cope with not only physical and emotional pain due to the conditions which originally helped me get the assistance I need; I also have to learn to rise above the petty, nasty, mealy-minded actions and intentions of a materialistic, selfish and judgemental society that seems to revel in bullying the most disenfranchised members of any society. Such a shame, considering the wealth of abundant living we are all provided with on this earth. I wonder what would happen, what we could all accomplish if we spent less time judging those in need and more time sharing and gleening the great love and light the Universe has provided for our enjoyment and evolution. I hope I have learned the lessons neccessary for me to evolve into someone I would be proud to know. Was it Plato who stated that (paraphrased) a society that ignores the needs of the poor and the powerless is doomed to fail? Indeed.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
impression September 13, 2004 10:11 PM

I get the impression that social security is a bit better here in Australia, but there's no easy way to tell. There's definitely a negative stigma attached.  [ send green star]
 
Yes there is stigma attached November 21, 2004 12:01 AM

Until people who not on welfare go on welfare themselves they should stop saying people who are on welfare get enough money but then again with the Get Stuff Tax (GST) it is even still not enough.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 21, 2004 2:50 PM

Hang on a minute - I think we all deserve a say in how our tax money is spent. I think most Australians do value the safety net it provides even though they will hopefully never need it.  [ send green star]
 
How our tax money is spent? November 22, 2004 1:00 AM

Yes there could be people who buy other things before they buy food or Members of Parliament spend money on what they want. So maybe people should deserve a say in how our tax money is spent as long as people who are working don't mind others telling them how to spend their money as there stories where people on wages also play the pokies before buying food. Hopefully people never need it as I wouldn't considered living at or below the poverty line a "safety net" but then again I am willing to have reduced payments if I can get vouchers to use to buy food.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 22, 2004 2:25 PM

If you earn the money and pay your fair share of tax then you have every right to spend the rest of the money however you want provided it is within the law. You also get a say in how the tax money is spent, luckily its an equal say and not dependant on how much you contribute. But the people who supply the tax income have just as much of an interest as the people it gets spent on. Have you ever been on the dole? I don't think it is below the poverty line, but i guess that depends where the poverty line is. I grew up in a small town where rent was cheap so maybe it was a lot easier to get by on the dole there.  [ send green star]
 
 November 23, 2004 12:42 AM

If a person spends money on the pokies rather then money for food then should others say to this person how the money would be better spent? And just today Members Of Queensland Parliament has permission to spend more money on postage but no one asked me or you. I have been on the Dole and yes it is below the poverty line but you are right if you live a small town it could be easier but then you have to worry such things as transport such as petrol cost which then eats into your Dole and the lack of work.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 November 23, 2004 12:51 AM

The government is going to significant effort to tell people not to spend their money on pokies. But in the end you have to let the individual decide. We do get to have a say in whether the government spends more money on both stamps and the dole - at election time, or you can call your local MP and chew his ear off right now. I don't even know what the dole is at the moment. I don't expect anyone to go into their personal finances, but it might help if you could give a 'typical' example of a single person with no dependents on the dole and how the money might be spent on rent, food, and any other expenses.  [ send green star]
 
Sorry if sound rude but I am not just expressing an opinion November 23, 2004 1:59 AM

I had my say at Election time but Johnny still got in bugger. I use to work at the old Social Security (now Centrelink) and friends used to asked me what 'typical' example and I tell then each person case is different such as how much rent they are paying. So I would to suggested you have a look at www.centrelink.gov.au and as for how the money might be spent on rent, food, and any other expenses there are stats of how much is spent each year on various items but for each person would you be telling others how much is spent on rent, food and other expenses.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous Remember ... November 30, 2004 3:50 AM

Hi all, The so-called welfare state was introduced by the unions for the workers not just in Australia but throughout the world, and was introduced to protect various worker's rights and aim for an egalitarian society. In every system where a certain amount of trust is involved, you find abuse. Why this is, I'm not sure. But if we stand together and have the courage to protect our fellow human beings, then surely we will pass from this Earth with a clear conscience. Take care all, Peter.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
Dole vs Student allowance. December 02, 2004 10:20 PM

I have never been on the dole but I have been a student (5 days a week) and I recieved Youth Allowance. I was living away from home (250km from my parents) and I only recieved $115 a fortnight. I used to work on the weekends (5 hours) and I used to take home $200 per fortnight. Rent used to be $110 per fortnight so that left me $205 to buy food, pay for transport and TAFE fees. I later found out if i was a part time student and on the dole, I would have got more. How unfair is that.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 December 02, 2004 10:34 PM

Did the student allowance take into account how much you were earning on the weekends?  [ send green star]
 
Looking at www.centrelink.gov.au is a good start December 03, 2004 4:29 AM

"Did the student allowance take into account how much you were earning on the weekends?" ?????? But then again you need to goto www.centrelink.gov.au as getting student allowance or any other allowance depend on many things such are you single, have children, living with parents, have money and assets etc etc etc.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 December 05, 2004 7:49 PM

Yes, you can earn up to $100 per week before it affected your student allowance, I was getting maximum from Centrelink. Im not bitching because it helped but It is very little money to support students that are working towards getting qualifications to get better jobs. that's my point.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 December 05, 2004 7:59 PM

Yes I know, my accomodation and food was more than $115 per week when I was a student.  [ send green star]
 
Changes to reviews of DSP without Centrelink telling people December 11, 2004 11:48 PM

I am on DSP and even those I can earn up to $60 a week I still have to tell Centrelink even if I earn less then this. Also DSP is now review every 6 months not every 5 years as it use to be so why doesn't Centrelink tell people there has been changes like this as I found out myself by asking.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
youth allowance December 17, 2004 10:20 PM

I attend school and I receive youth allowance on a fortnightly basis. However, because I receive this payment, there is a limit on how much money I can earn through part-time employment. I pay my parents for board and rent, and I am responsible for all my own expenses. Personally, I don't think Centrelink pays enough money for the typical student to support themselves. Also, some issues in my family might require me to move back to Brisbane and live with someone else to complete my schooling, and Centrelink is not willing to support me if I do this. I'm always disappointed with their customer service; they prefer to "pretend you didn't call" rather than help you with your problem. That's just my opinion though.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Centrelink December 21, 2004 7:25 PM

Princess K. in dealing my Centrelink myself I would have similar opinions to yours. As I feel the way they help you as they don't believe what you said or done for example the appointment line only ask you to press 2 for employment, 4 for families or 0 for help. It doesn't tell you to press 1 for DSP or 4 for Students so I when I mentioned this to Centrelink they didn't believe me. etc etc etc  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Welfare in its many forms January 04, 2005 6:54 AM

Firstly, so sorry to hear of the root causes of Barb's having to depend on the welfare state - especially the American WS which I certainly wouldn't like to have to depend on Now I live in the Isle of Man which has roughly the same Welfare State as the UK (no we are not UK - in fact we are less UK or GB than Oz, NZ or Canada {who all have a Queen} and even the USA {which was never granted independence}. Anyhow, our WS is to welfare and every Tom Dick and Harry turns up at the docs with a mere cold. I lived on the continent for a long time where we had to pay the first 10% ourselves - and had to pay almost A$400 a month for that privilege. Being over 60 you get prescriptions for free and over 65 just about all is for free That is, unless you get DVT down in New Zealand and a doctor in Canberra discovers it. Now she cashed $40 and sent me same day to a specialist at the hospital who also said he didn't like it and cashed $130 plus all the drugs, support stocking and whatnot that I needed. The total was up over $1'000 before I left Perth for the almost 24hr non-stop flight home I have only praise for MediCare in Oz as I was dealt with immediately and efficiently. Luckily, my travel insurance covered it all and I only pay 60 p.a. for that Your welfare state isn't bad at all Oz (unless you feel you should be supported to watch TV all day). It is mostly a fair deal for all and more support would only burden the taxpayer and less would burden the needy. I'm all for exceptions for the hard felt cases but otherwise - it is really OK. Gari  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 August 08, 2005 7:57 AM

Follow up isn't it is good that you do what Centresink you are told to do and when you have done it, then you have to do the same thing again.

Also Gari A if the USA was never granted independence then what was the War of Independence about and does mean The Queen and not G Bush is in charge?

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
IMF advice on taxation: September 18, 2005 5:20 PM

http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=1142&pst=176665  [ send green star]
 
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